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Compounds of the organogenic elements in Apollo 11 and 12 lunar samples: A review

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Abstract

Investigations of low molecular weight compounds of the organogenic elements on lunar samples are reviewed. The three general techniques of vacuum pyrolysis, acid hydrolysis, and crushing have been employed by most investigators. Vacuum pyrolysis of lunar fines produce a variety of gaseous species which are either: (1) indigenous, (2) solar wind products and/or (3) chemical reaction products of mineral phases found in the lunar samples. Acid hydrolysis of lunar fines using deuteriumlabeled acids yields evidence for indigenous methane and ethane. Methane and ethane found in the lunar fines are largely derived from the solar wind with only trace amounts indigenous to the samples. Crushing experiments with lunar fines and breccias produce methane, ethane, hydrogen, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide and the rare gases.

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Gibson, E.K., Moore, C.B. Compounds of the organogenic elements in Apollo 11 and 12 lunar samples: A review. Space Life Sciences 3, 404–414 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00926768

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Keywords

  • Methane
  • Sulfide
  • Pyrolysis
  • Ethane
  • Solar Wind